Local Doctor Gets Life in Federal Prison

A federal judge Monday sentenced 70-year-old Dr. Thomas Merrill to life in prison.

In January, a federal court jury in Pensacola convicted Dr. Merrill of 98 counts of dispensing or distributing controlled substances, defrauding health care benefits programs and wire fraud.

Merrill was convicted of dispensing large amounts of painkillers to “doctor shopping” patients.

Five of his patients died from overdoses.

Merrill was a licensed osteopathic physician and formally practiced at Magnolia Medical Clinic in Apalachicola.

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